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Backyard Hollywood: Get a Taste of Tinseltown in Columbia

July 20, 2008

By The Beaufort Gazette, S.C.

Jul. 20–Looking for an economical road trip? No need to drive all the way to California to visit Hollywood. An exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum brings movie magic to Columbia.

“Hollywood Comes to South Carolina: A Century of Filmmaking in the Palmetto State,” opened Jan. 12 and runs through Oct. 19.

“The exhibit showcases the significant number of movies produced in the state over the past 100 years and gives our guests an idea of the complexity of the undertaking and the organization needed to produce a motion picture,” said Fritz Hamer, chief curator of history, in a release. “It is a lot of fun for folks to see the many costumes, photos, artifacts and pieces of equipment — some very famous and familiar — that have contributed to some of their favorite Hollywood movies.”

The exhibit includes artifacts, photographs, posters, movie clips, filmmaking equipment, costumes, prop and other artifacts from films shot in South Carolina. Italostraces the history of films large and small and includes early documentaries and educational films in addition to major motion pictures.

Included are items as a “fat suit” worn by Eddie Murphy in “The Nutty Professor 2,” a knife used by John Wayne, a working fire engine used in the mini-series “Chiefs,” costumes worn by Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons in “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” the gallows used in Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot,” a dress worn by Julia Roberts in “Something to Talk About” and the couch used in “The Big Chill.”

“The Big Chill,” which was filmed in Beaufort, is just one of the locally shot movies highlighted in the exhibit. Others include: a diorama of a golf course, stills and the poster from “The Legend of Baggar Vance,” stills and the poster from “The Great Santini,” Tom Hanks’ wedding suit and other props from “Forrest Gump,” and an Arab-style knife from “Rules of Engagement.”

Admission to “Hollywood Comes to South Carolina” is $3 in addition to regular admission for ages 3 and up. The museum is at 301 Gervais St., Columbia. Details: 803-898-4821.

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Beaufort Gazette, S.C.

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